Judge Blocks Trial For Fatal Police Shooting, Sticks Victim's Family With Cop's Legal Bill

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Beware unarmed, Anaheim police protester: Cops will claim they mistook your Disney sign for a gun, kill you, demand immunity from public scrutiny and then win support from reality suspending, country club OC judges
Anaheim's Bernie Cervantes Villegas held the barrel end of a BB rifle when police officers approached him in January 2012, complied with commands to raise his arms and was nevertheless shot five times and killed though he never pointed the weapon at cops or grabbed for the trigger.

Officers "high-fived" each other after the shooting, according to a defense witness.

That's the version defense lawyers presented in a federal civil rights lawsuit against the trigger-happy shooter, Anaheim officer Nick Bennallack, who six months later also executed an unarmed Manuel Diaz by shooting him in the butt and back of the head.

According to court records, the cop--affectionately called "Buckshot Bennallack" by fellow officers and "Backshot Bennallack" by angry residents--demanded that a jury never see crime scene photographs of the gruesome results of his five shots because jurors might become nauseous by the overkill.

This week inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse, U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney ordered Villegas' surviving family members to pay Anaheim PD's legal bills after refusing to let the lawsuit go to a future jury because, in his view, even if the plaintiff's version of events is accurate, the cop acted "reasonably" in fear for his life.

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Memorial for Unarmed Man Slain by Anaheim Police Vandalized by Rival Gang; Grieving Mother Asks for Unity

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Gabriel San Roman / OC Weekly
Manuel Diaz's memorial on Sunday morning
The memorial marking the site where 25-year-old Manuel Diaz was shot and killed by Anaheim police on July 21, 2012 was trashed over the weekend. Gang members from a rival neighborhood vandalized a large banner marking his dates of birth and death. Spray paint covered pictures of Diaz and even framed photographs of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary placed atop a main table.

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Anaheim Police Face Another Federal Lawsuit Over Alleged Questionable Killing

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Martin Angel Hernandez
Claiming a dirty Anaheim cop operating in a terribly corrupt police department murdered a 21-year-old man in March 2012, surviving family members filed a federal civil rights lawsuit this week inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse.

Humberto Guizar, the attorney for victim Martin Angel Hernandez's mother and minor child, wrote in the lawsuit that the police killing wasn't just "brutal" but is also representative of a "disturbing trend" of out-of-control members of the Anaheim Police Department's gang unit.

Guizar's description of the incident paints a picture of police officers who believe they can kill with immunity.

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Appellate Court Backs Attempted Murder Conviction For 16YO Buena Park Gangster

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Buena Park gangster might catch sentencing break
Jesus Aguirre, an Eastside Buena Park gangster, was 16 years old when he participated in the ridiculously stupid, 2010 attempted murder of a rival hoodlum, lost his trial, got sentenced to life plus 25 years and, from a California prison hellhole, has to watch his distraught family pray an appeal would find him wrongly convicted.

But late this month, a three-justice panel at the California Court of Appeal in Santa Ana backed the righteousness of the conviction, declined invitations to overturn the jury's verdicts and found no trouble that a minor had been sentenced so severely by Superior Court Judge William R. Froeberg.

"The evidence shows Aguirre acted with the requisite intent and took direct but ineffectual acts to commit the attempted murder and the assault with a deadly weapon," opined justices David A. Thompson and Richard Aronson after rejecting as baseless most of the arguments by Aguirre lawyer William Kopeny.

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Forming Kaos Gangster, An Orange County Cocaine Dealer, Learns Punishment

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Law enforcement war on Mexican Mafia in OC continues
Forming Kaos gangster Ignacio Alfredo Marron thought he'd already served enough time locked up 30 months before his sentencing hearing inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse.

After all, Marron has a loving wife, nine-year-old daughter and a Newport Beach marine industry boss anxious for his return. Plus he claims he sees the errors of his ways--especially substance abuse--and assured U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna that he will now lead a "law abiding life."

Federal prosecutors weren't so willing to ignore Marron's crimes. An undercover law enforcement task force (federal and local cops) caught him working with Mexican Mafia disciple Cesar Mungia to sell 400 grams of cocaine in Southern California.

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Kill Unarmed Man First, Ask Questions Later: Anaheim Cop Lawyer

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Manuel Diaz probably didn't know killer cop would claim his running away was an act of aggression
An unarmed, 25-year-old man not wanted for any crime was exercising his constitutional rights to move away from Anaheim Police Department (APD) officers when 20 seconds later one of the cops, armed with a semi-automatic Glock, decided without warning to kill him with shots to the buttock and back of the head.

That's the story Dale K. Galipo, an attorney for the estate of Manuel Diaz, told a jury of six men and two women in his Feb. 25 opening statement at the excessive force and wrongful death trial inside U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna's Santa Ana courtroom.

"Mr. Diaz had nothing in his hands," Galipo said. "He was no threat when he was shot [in the buttock]. As he was going down to his knees, there was a second shot to his head . . . Diaz landed face down. The officers handcuffed him, patted him down and didn't find a weapon. They never found a weapon."

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Vanesa Tapia Zavala and Candace Marie Brito Plead Not Guilty to Kim Pham's Murder: Update

See the update at the end of this post on the defendants pleading not guilty at their arraignment today.

Kim Pham, R.I.P.
ORIGINAL POST, FEB. 21, 7:06 A.M.: The fatal beating of Kim Pham outside The Crosby in Santa Ana was gang-related, according to an attorney.

No, not the district attorney. It's the defense attorney for one of the two Latinas facing second degree murder charges in the case.

"There have been some developments in the case that directly implicate the Asians standing in line in terms of gang affiliation," charged Michael Molfetta, who represents Candace Marie Brito. "They were the aggressors, the instigators."

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OC Sheriff's Deputy Pleads Guilty to Pepper-Spraying Teen's Pizza, Gets No Jail Time

Categories: Where you from?

On the same week that an Orange County jury freed the killers of Kelly Thomas, there was another reminder that law enforcement in Orange County can do anything they damn well please with little fear of getting punished.

Last Friday, OC sheriff's deputy Juan Tavera pleaded guilty to pepper-spraying a teenager's pizza during a 2012 traffic stop in Laguna Hills. The teen and his friends--who were charged with no crime--fell violently ill to the poisoning. You and I do that spiking, we get time in the pen. Talavera's punishment? 100 days of community service, and probation.

Um, what?!

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Federal Appellate Judges Reverse State Court Justices In Orange County Gang Case

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Huerta
An Orange County gangster convicted in 2008 on attempted murder charges stemming from a jailhouse stabbing of a rival hoodlum and received a punishment of life in prison almost had reason to smile this week.

Following orders from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a U.S. District Court judge, who'd previously upheld every portion of the case against Manos gang member Ramiro Alex Huerta, reluctantly erased a street terrorism conviction tied to the jail stabbing.

Judges M. Margaret McKeown, Ronald M. Gould and Jay S. Bybee determined that both a California Court of Appeal based in Santa Ana as well as U.S. District Court Judge R. Gary Klausner acted "unreasonably" by misinterpreting "clearly established" law by upholding an invalid street terrorism conviction.

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Forming Kaos Gangsters Who Sold Meth, Guns In Southern California Win Free Food, Housing

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Federal judge neatly organizes several Forming Kaos gangsters
Using codes during phone calls and having ties to the notorious Mexican Mafia didn't save two Forming Kaos (FK) gang members from winning tough punishment inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse.

U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna this month sent Eric Leonal Morales and Steven Larry Coble, both methamphetamine dealers, away to long prison trips.

The defendants worked in the Mexican Mafia drug trafficking umbrella in Southern California, but undercover federal agents working in league with local narcotics detectives pierced Cesar Munguia's FK crew using confidential informants.

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